Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Car Accident Recoveries

If it is your first time injured in a car accident, you likely have a mountain of questions about what happens next. Our attorneys have compiled a list of the most common question they hear from car accident victims. 
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  • What is my car accident case worth?

    Victims who've sustained injuries, property damage, and other losses in car accidents caused by someone else's negligence often seek to collect compensation through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.

    However, the value of a car crash claim varies dramatically from case-to-case. This makes it difficult for personal injury attorneys to provide an accurate estimate of worth without first reviewing all of the relevant information.

    Factors that affect the value of a car accident claim include:

    Personal injury attorneys are often hesitant to offer an estimate of a case's value immediately after a car accident, simply because many of the factors that so heavily influence a claim's worth may not yet be known.

    car_crash_injuryFor example, even if the victim was diagnosed with injuries right after the accident, how those injuries will affect the victim's life—including what medical treatment they'll require and how long it will take them to recover from their injuries—usually isn't fully understood when a case is in its early stages.

    The value of most car accident cases is determined by three components:

    1. Accident-related medical expenses
    2. Lost wages
    3. Pain and suffering

    To build a strong case, it's important to ensure these losses are documented well. Detailed medical records, past pay stubs, and daily journal entries discussing how accident-related injuries affect the victim on a day-to-day basis can serve as powerful evidence.

    Consult an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

    If you suffered injuries and losses in a car accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The knowledgeable car accident attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can review the facts of your case, and help you understand your legal rights and options.

    To schedule a free initial case consultation, contact our Atlanta law office today using the numbers on your screen, or complete our online contact form.  

     

  • What kind of compensation can I obtain after a car accident?

    There are several categories of compensation available for car accident lossesThe time after a car accident can be very difficult. Many times, victims are faced with the physical pain of injuries, the mounting pressure of medical and household bills, and the emotional stress that can follow a crash. Fortunately, the law provides an outlet for the injured to obtain compensation and ensure their physical care and financial stability. Victims in car accident cases can seek compensation to cover…

    • Medical costs. Victims can be compensated for any medical costs related to the accident. This includes medications, hospitalizations, doctors’ appointments, therapy, and necessary modifications to the home or vehicle.
       
    • Future medical costs. In some cases, the injury sustained in the accident can develop into a larger health issue or is severe enough to require long-term care. Compensation can be obtained to cover future treatments, therapies, and other necessities related to medical care.
       
    • Lost wages. Often, the injuries suffered in an accident prevent a victim from working. It can be difficult for a family to maintain their lifestyle without that income. Victims are entitled to reimbursement for earnings lost due to the accident, as well as for permanent disabilities that will limit future earning capacity.
       
    • Property damage. If your car or any belongings are damaged in the accident, the cost of repairing or replacing the item can be covered.
       
    • Pain and suffering. Victims can be awarded compensation for physical and emotional pain they experience after an accident. These damages can include stress and anxiety, as well as future physical pain stemming from the accident injuries.
       

    There is a wide range of compensation that is available for accident victims. Every case is unique, and money is awarded based on the specific circumstances of each case.

    Get Help From An Atlanta Accident Attorney 

    Insurance companies will try to minimize the amount they pay out, so victims should be careful after an accident. Don’t discuss any aspect of the case with insurance representatives without first speaking to an auto accident attorney. A skilled lawyer can help victims protect their rights and seek the maximum amount of compensation.

    If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a car accident, the car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak may be able to secure you the compensation you deserve. Call our Atlanta office today at 888-522-7798 to learn more and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

  • What should I do to protect my rights after a personal injury accident?

    What to do after a personal injury accidentA car or truck crash, slip and fall, or another personal injury accident can leave you seriously hurt, unable to work, and wondering how you'll keep up with mounting medical and household debts.

    If the accident that caused your injury was caused by another person or a company's negligence, you might have grounds for a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.

    However, what you do in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that follow the accident can have a significant impact on your ability to collect compensation.

    Here's what you can do to protect your right to a fair financial recovery:

    • Gather evidence. This includes photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, any property damage, and contact information for involved drivers and witnesses. This type of evidence can be integral to building a strong case for compensation.
    • See a doctor right away. Prompt medical attention protects both your physical health and the health of a future personal injury claim or lawsuit by ensuring that accident-related injuries are documented in your medical records.
    • Continue your medical care. Following your doctor's treatment plan—including attending all scheduled follow-up visits—is essential to secure a successful outcome in your case.
    • Document your accident-related expenses and other losses. Careful documentation is needed to ensure a fair recovery. Save all medical bills and receipts, property damage repair estimates or invoices, wage statements, and other relevant documents.
    • Consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. An attorney will review your case, advise you about your rights and options, and help fight for the compensation you need and deserve.

    Additionally, when it comes to protecting your rights, knowing what not to do after a personal injury accident can be just as important. For example, it's best to avoid:

    • Apologizing at the accident scene.
    • Providing an insurance adjuster for the at-fault party's insurance company with a recorded statement or broad medical release.
    • Accepting an early settlement offer without first speaking with an attorney.

    Request More Information

    If you were hurt in a personal injury accident, the skilled attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you fight for justice and compensation. Schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation or request a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia, for additional information.

     

  • I was hit by a driver cited for a DUI. What happens now?

    testing DUI driver after an accidentDrunk driving remains a serious problem in the United States. More than one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence in 2016 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Statistics.

    It's a frightening statistic, but what's even more shocking is these arrests make up just 1 percent of the 111 million episodes of alcohol-impaired driving self-reported by American adults each year.

    Lawsuits Against DUI Drivers

    If you were seriously injured in an accident caused by a driver cited for driving under the influence, or DUI, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damages, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other economic and non-economic losses.

    However, even in accident cases involving DUIs, obtaining compensation is never a given.

    Building a Strong Case Against a DUI Driver

    Hurt in a DUI accident? Here's what you can do to build a strong personal injury case:

    • Take photos and videos at the scene of the accident. Make sure to document the positioning of the involved vehicles, relevant road or weather conditions, property damage, and apparent injuries.
    • Gather contact information and statements from people who witnessed the accident. It's especially helpful to get information from people who saw the intoxicated driver swerving or weaving before the crash; or staggering, slurring their words, or attempting to hide their intoxication after the accident.
    • Seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you don't think you're seriously injured. Adrenaline may mask the pain of certain injuries, and late-appearing injuries can take hours or even days to present themselves. Work closely with your doctor to ensure that your accident-related injuries are documented carefully and thoroughly.
    • Consult a personal injury attorney. An attorney with experience handling personal injury cases against drunk drivers can help you understand your legal rights and options, and fight for the compensation you deserve.

    Were You Injured in an Accident Caused by a Drunk Driver?

    The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.

     

  • If I was injured in a crash caused by municipal negligence, do I have any legal options?

    Car accidents happen all the time. In most cases, one driver makes a poor decision and causes a crash with another vehicle. In these incidents, if injuries occur, it is usually clear exactly who is responsible.

    However, what happens when an accident is caused by a condition on or near the roadway? Even in single-vehicle accidents, the driver may not be the one to blame. In some situations, municipal government negligence can lead to serious crashes, causing damage to property and inflicting injuries on drivers and passengers. Though these cases are more difficult to prove, victims do have legal options to pursue justice and obtain compensation against the government entity responsible for keeping up the road.

    You may have a legal claim against municipal government if poor pavement maintenance has led to your injuryWhat Is Municipal Negligence?

    Municipal negligence—as it applies to car crashes—is the notion that a city, state, township, or other government entity did not act with reasonable care in maintaining, marking, or designing roads. Just as drivers are expected to exercise caution and care for the safety of other drivers, municipalities are also expected to create and maintain roadways that are safe when used in the expected manner.

    Some examples of municipal negligence include…

    • Lack of appropriate road signs or warnings of danger
    • Lack of guard rails
    • Potholes
    • Unmarked or unsafe construction zones
    • Poorly designed roadway
    • Dangerous shoulder drop off
    • Uneven pavement

    Proving Municipal Negligence in a Georgia Court

    In many ways, bringing a lawsuit against a municipality is similar to pursuing a case against a private citizen. Certain factors must exist to mount a successful case. While it can be more difficult to win a suit against a city or county, the basic concepts remain the same. The victim must show that:

    • The responsible government entity did not exercise reasonable care in its maintenance, marking, or design of the road.
       
    • The responsible entity knew or should reasonably have known that the danger existed.
       
    • Its inaction led directly to the accident and injury of the victim.


    In short, municipalities cannot be held accountable for poor weather conditions or situations they could not have known about to address. If a sinkhole appears in a roadway and causes an accident minutes later, the municipality cannot be held responsible. In that situation, it would have no way of knowing about the problem, and thus not have the ability to fix it or warn people of the danger in that time frame. On the other hand, if a roadway has been eroding over time and many drivers complained about the hazardous conditions, the municipality may be held accountable if it did not complete a timely repair or post warnings to prepare drivers.

    Difficulties in Municipal Negligence Cases

    It can be difficult to bring an injury lawsuit against a government entity. While the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit on an injury claim in Georgia is two years from the date of accident, there is an additional requirement of having to provide notice of the claim to the government entity. Depending on whether the defendant is a city, county, or the state of Georgia, the notice period varies between six and twelve months.  The form of the notice is regulated by statute, and if you fail to comply with all elements of the notice requirement, you may lose the right to maintain a lawsuit against the responsible party.

    Additionally, government entities are often protected by what is known as sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is meant to protect the government and its officials from constant litigation when constituents are unhappy with its operations. However, in some cases, negligence in maintaining, designing, or marking a roadway creates an exception to this rule.

    Similar to other personal injury cases, the victim of a potential municipal negligence case might be forced to defend his actions at the time of the accident. The courts may determine that the victim shares some amount of responsibility for the crash, and if that is the case, it could affect his or her ability to sue and receive a potential settlement or judgment.

    An experienced and skilled attorney can help victims understand the laws concerning municipal negligence, based on what type of government agency is responsible for their accident and injuries. If you are unsure as to whether your accident falls into this category, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and you’ll receive a prompt response from a member of our team who can answer your questions and help you learn more about your rights. You may also call our Atlanta office at 888-522-7798.

  • Is it okay to talk to an insurance company after my car accident?

    Shortly after an accident, your phone may start ringing. The insurance company who covers the other person involved in your accident will likely contact you seeking all sorts of information.

    Remember, The Insurance Adjuster Is Not On Your Side

    Be very cautious when talking to an insurance adjuster after your accident

    An important fact to remember when this happens is that the insurance adjuster is not working for you. Even if you are an honest, fair person and you feel you have a solid claim, the adjuster is out to protect the interests of the insurance company and minimize any money they might have to pay. He may seem friendly and understanding on the phone, but he will certainly use any information he is able to learn from you to his company’s advantage if possible.

    Sometimes, it is difficult to avoid these calls. If you find yourself on the other end of the line with the opposing insurance adjuster, follow these helpful tips to protect your rights and preserve your claim.

    DON’T…

    • Discuss your medical care. Do not elaborate on your injuries. It is possible that you will not fully understand the nature of your injuries until later, so do not offer details that could hurt your case in the future. If pressed, tell the adjuster you simply do not know the full nature of your injuries and that you are seeking medical treatment.
       
    • Give details of the accident. The adjuster can find the basic information from police reports or his own insured driver. Do not offer your version of events to the adjuster at this time.
       
    • Sign anything. Never sign anything, no matter what the adjuster says. This applies to a medical release as well as documents related to fault. If you sign a medical release, the insurance company will have free reign to examine the full scope of your medical history, and may try to use your past medical records against you.

    DO…

    • Be polite. You may be feeling angry about the accident or suffering from the physical consequences of the crash, but taking your frustration out on an insurance company representative will not help. The adjuster will play a role in your case, so it is best to stay on civil terms.
       
    • Remain vague. Offer the adjuster only basic information, such as your name, address, and birthdate. You may share the minimum details about the accident. Where it occurred, what day and time, and what vehicle you were driving.
       
    • Identify the person to whom you are speaking. Take note of the date and time of the call, the name of the insurance company, the name of the representative, and how to contact him if necessary. Make sure to keep your notes.
       
    • Tell the adjuster to contact your attorney if further information is necessary. It is a good idea to only talk to insurance companies in the presence of an experienced accident attorney. The attorney can help you understand what information can and should be shared and when.

    In some cases, such as in accidents where the at-fault driver is uninsured, the victim may have to pursue a claim with his own insurance company. Victims are required to cooperate more fully with their own companies, so you may have to offer more information to the adjuster in those situations. A skilled attorney can help victims understand their rights and obligations and make decisions on how best to move forward.

    Talk To An Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer

    If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Take a moment to fill out our online contact form, and a member of the car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak will help you learn more about how to proceed after an accident.

  • What are the minimum car insurance requirements in Georgia?

    Car insurance in GeorgiaEvery state sets different rules about car insurance—rules about fault, minimum insurance limits, and penalties for failure to comply with the laws. The state of Georgia is no different. Drivers are required to carry insurance to cover any property damage or personal injury that may occur in a car accident. Georgia is a fault state, meaning that blame is assigned after an accident and the party responsible for the crash must pay for the damage. Auto insurance covers these costs, up to a certain limit.

    Georgia Car Insurance Coverage Requirements

    The state requires every vehicle to carry minimum coverage. In Georgia, the state mandates:

    • Bodily injury liability:  $25,000 per person. $50,000 for multiple people in an accident.
    • Property damage liability:  $25,000 for one incident.

    Bodily injury liability covers the injuries suffered by a person in an accident. It could cover medical expenses, lost income, as well as pain and suffering. Property damage liability provides compensation for the damage done to another person’s property, such as a car, bicycle, mailbox, home, and more.

    These amounts are the minimum amounts required by Georgia law, though many drivers elect to purchase larger policies in order to further protect themselves from the possibility of personal financial responsibility in the case of a serious accident. Drivers who fail to secure the appropriate levels of insurance can be penalized. Uninsured motorists are subject to fines, the loss of driving privileges, and the revocation of vehicle registration. Driving an unregistered vehicle is a misdemeanor in Georgia.

    Additional Coverage Available to Georgia Motorists

    State law requires only bodily injury and property damage coverage, though many drivers opt to purchase additional insurance to offer further protection from accidents. Most insurers also offer policies that cover:

    • Medical payments. This coverage can provide payment for medical expenses due to injuries as a result of an accident.
    • Collision. Collision coverage can pay for the replacement or repairs to a vehicle after a crash.
    • Comprehensive insurance. This coverage offers protection from damages or losses not related to road accidents, such as theft or weather damage.
    • Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance. If a driver with no insurance or not enough insurance is at fault for an accident, this coverage can cover the expenses related to the accident.

    Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers You Can Count On

    If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation, even if the driver responsible doesn’t have auto insurance. Call the experienced car accident attorneys at Rechtman & Spevak at 888-522-7798 to learn more about your options and find out what we can do to help, and download our FREE book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia.